Close to the tip of larval improvement, caterpillars go solo and forage on their very own. With development full, caterpillars pupate throughout the confines of their tents or wander from crops in search of protected spots beneath logs, leaves, stones, or human-made buildings to spin yellowish or white, silken cocoons. Whereas the desert almonds we visited within the Mojave appeared to not be overwhelmed by western tent caterpillars, different species of tent caterpillars, together with the forest tent caterpillar and japanese tent caterpillar, will be problematic when cyclic, outbreaking populations strip timber of foliage. In a earlier episode, we offered some simple methods to cope with tent caterpillars after they get out of hand on timber and shrubs in residential landscapes.
Though our quest for western tent caterpillars was successful, the possibility to dine on desert almonds was, properly, a failure. We arrived within the desert only a bit too early within the season and desert almonds nonetheless in bloom had not but produced fruit. In fact this gives an ideal excuse for a return go to to this exceptional realm.
“Western Tent Caterpillar” by the USDA Forest Service and “Inhabitants fluctuations of the western tent caterpillar in southwestern British Columbia” by J. H. Myers have been consulted in preparation of this episode. We thank Dr. Shrewsbury for recognizing and wrangling western tent caterpillars and Robin and Max on the Excessive Desert Eden for sharing their tent caterpillars with Bug of the Week.